Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

See other formats


People's Government of 1939, had in the end been transferred to tie
country they were c representing.' The 1940 c friendly governments3
for the remaining Baltic States had been formed in the countries already
occupied by the Red Army. In this instance., therefore., the Kremlin
reviewed its methods and for the time being refrained from creating its
own Polish Government, but substituted as an instrument of pressure a
body under the innocent-sounding title of the c Union of the Polish
Patriots.' Although the press-organ of this c Union,' Wolna Polska (Free
Poland), made its appearance on March 1,1943, the names of the members
of this body were not announced until several months later. When at
length the various identities of the e Praesidium of Patriots ' were disclosed
on June 18, in a thanksgiving telegram to Stalin, none of the people named
had at any time been connected with real politics, neither did they
represent any existing Party or group of the Polish people. They were
unknown personalities in Polish life and appeared to be recent converts
to the Communist Party or else those people who had been c invited' by
the N.K.V.D. to join the c Union.' To refuse such an € invitation * in
Russia would have meant death in a labour camp. Among the members
of this Praesidium, only a few names could be identified, Jakub Parnas,
a professor of biology of the Lwow University, Andrzej Witos (brother
of the former Premier and Leader of the Peasant Party), and Drobner
from Cracow.*
There was no former Communist among this list of c patriots' and,
officially at least, no member of the Polish Department of the Comintern,
Personnel from that Department came into the open and were em-
ployed in the next phase of the Soviet action, when Poland was finally
occupied by the Red Army. In the meantime, the ' Union of Patriots *
was to be the vanguard of the Soviets* propaganda to convince
the Allies that there were Poles anxious to subordinate their country to
Russia.
The existence of the c Union of Polish Patriots ' was marked by abuse
against the Polish Government, published in Free Poland and other Soviet
papers, and repeated over the radio. When the Moscow correspondent
of the Daily Herald returned to London after his sojourn in the Russian
capital, he wrote a series of questions and answers on topical problems
connected with Soviet life. To the question " We are often puzzled by
the activities and statements published by the German and Polish Com-
mittees in Moscow, what is your personal estimate of their importance ? "
*Parnas—a typical scientist.   He received Stalin's biology prize.
Andrzej Witos, owing to his brother's influence, was once a Member of Parlia-
ment in the Peasant's Party. From 1928-1939, he joined Pilsudski's regime
which had been opposed by the Peasant Party. Witos was deported with his
family to Russia and unable to leave that country with them3 he preferred to stay
there. The Soviet press published several articles under his name, although in
Poland he had never been known to write.
Drobner^ a Cracow chemist was expelled from the Polish Socialist Party in 1937.
(See Vol. I, p.264).
154